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Orchard Learning Programme deadline

January 28 @ 11:58 pm - 11:59 pm UTC+1

Orchard Learning Programme blooms again at Horfield Organic Community Orchard

Planning a new orchard? Active in a community orchard? Professional gardener looking after fruit trees? Growing a large variety of different fruit trees in your garden or allotment?

The Orchard Learning Programme guides participants through a growing season in an established community orchard. The course begins in February as days lengthen. Trees, as well as pests and diseases, are waking up from dormancy and the soil is stirring. It follows the fruiting arc from blossom, pollination and fruit set, to development, ripening and harvest. During the course participants learn to tune in to, and be guided by, the characteristics and needs of individual trees of different ages, varieties, and conditions.

This nine-month course (February to October) is ideal for those with some fruit growing experience who wish to deepen their knowledge and practice. It is also recommended for anyone starting up, or involved with, a community orchard.

The course, now in its third year, takes place in the rich and diverse outdoor learning environment of Horfield Organic Community Orchard (HOCO). Participants work with real trees and learn by doing. There are 5 group sessions and 4 one-to-one sessions. They are led by Shannon Smith – an experienced community orchard grower and educator. HOCO will host an advanced Orchard Learning Programme in 2023 designed to develop skills in organising and training volunteers.

Places are limited to 8 participants. Early application is advised.

More information on the HOCO website: www.community-orchard.org.uk


Dates Times Content
Friday 28 January 2022 11.59pm Deadline for applications
Friday 4 February or Saturday 5 February To be confirmed Interviews at HOCO
Saturday 26 February Group session – 2-5pm Introduction to HOCO and Tree Buddies
Friday 25 March & Saturday 26 March One-to-one sessions

(1.5 hours each)

Dormant season pruning and planning for the growing season
Saturday 23 April Group session – 2-5pm Feeding the Soil Food Web and other acts of resilience
Friday 27 May or

Saturday 28 May

One-to-one sessions

(1 hour each)

Growing season pruning (1)
Saturday 25 June Group session – 2-5pm Managing pests, diseases and disorders
Friday 22 July or

Saturday 23 July

One-to-one sessions

(2 hours each)

Growing season pruning (2)
Saturday 20 August Group session – 2-5pm Harvesting and making the most of the crop
Friday 23 September or Saturday 24 September One-to-one sessions

(1.5 hours each)

Growing season pruning (3)
Saturday 29 October Group session – 2-5pm Review, planning and problem-solving



January 28
11:58 pm - 11:59 pm